If you’re a cheese lover or have a kid who loves to eat cheese, you must be familiar with string cheese. It is a popular snack among school-going children who like cheese and adults who love a quick cheese bite. This mildly salted cheese stick tastes just perfect. Despite the popularity among kids and adults, most people do not use string cheese in cooking. But does string cheese melt well? Let’s find out!
Before we get into it, do you know what exactly string cheese is?
What is String Cheese?
String cheese is low-moisture mozzarella cheese in plastic tube wrapping that you can eat whole or pull apart into thin slices. This cheese has a stringy and chewy texture. Nowadays, you can find string cheese in various flavors like garlic, onion, smoked, and unsmoked.
If you wonder, “How is string cheese made?” hard mozzarella cheese is heated at 140°F (60°C) until it gets a stringy texture. String cheese is only made using mozzarella cheese because of its texture.
Now, the big question is, “Does string cheese melt?”
Does String Cheese Melt
We have good news if you have been thinking of using string cheese in cooking. String cheese actually melts!
You can melt string cheese within the packaging or remove the covering before heating it.
String cheese does not melt entirely but obtains a soft, gooey texture that can give a cheesy feel to your meals. Many people use melted string cheese on pizzas, mac n cheese, lasagna, etc.
Note: Check if the packaging is heat-safe to avoid health hazards.
Does String Cheese Melt like Mozzarella?
String cheese does not exactly melt like mozzarella, but you can use it as a mozzarella substitute in desperate times, as mozzarella is the main ingredient in string cheese.
Thus, it allows you to use string cheese in place of mozzarella. However, you might not get good results when using it in place of other types of cheese like cheddar or feta.
What Temp does String Cheese Melt?
When we talk about “Does string cheese melt,” an important consideration is what temp does string cheese melt.
String cheese melts at 90°F or 32°C.
Mozzarella and cheddar cheese melt at the same temperature. However, cutting the string cheese into thinner slices helps it melt better and evenly.
Why Doesn’t String Cheese Melt Properly?
Low in Fats
Cheeses rich in fats melt easily, obtaining a smooth texture, and those with a low-fat content do not take the same form on heating. String cheese is low in fat, restricting its ability to melt properly.
Low Moisture Content
Like fats, string cheese also has a low moisture content, translating to tightly packed proteins that do not leave their alignment soon. So, they take more time to melt and do not become liquid like mozzarella cheese.
Does String Cheese Melt in a Microwave?
Heating the string cheese in a microwave is one of the simplest methods to melt it. Here’s how you can melt string cheese in a microwave:
- Take the string cheese out of the wrapper.
- Pull thin strings out of the cheese to ensure they melt evenly.
- Place the string cheese in a microwave-friendly tray or spread it over pizza, lasagna, or any other dish.
- Leave the string cheese in the microwave for one or one and a half minutes.
- Take the dish out once the cheese looks soft.
How to Melt String Cheese in the Microwave with a Wrapper?
Now that you know the answer to “Does string cheese melt in the microwave,” you might be curious about melting string cheese with the wrapper.
- If your string cheese comes in a microwave-safe wrapping, open it a little from the opening side.
- Now, put it in the microwave for one to one and a half minutes.
- Take the string cheese out of the microwave when it’s soft.
Does String Cheese Melt in the Oven?
When something doesn’t melt in the microwave, we usually think it will melt in the oven. However, it is not really true for mozzarella string cheese. If you‘re wondering, “Does string cheese melt well in the oven?” The answer is not a blatant yes. String cheese melts the same way in the oven, like a microwave: it softens but does not melt.
- Remove the wrapper of the string cheese.
- Pull thin strings from the cheese to ensure even temperature.
- Spread the string cheese on an oven-safe tray or add it to your pizza, lasagna, and anything else you like.
- Heat the oven to 90°F (32°C) and turn on the broiler setting.
- Leave the string cheese in the oven for 5 minutes to soften it.
How to Melt String Cheese Stick Whole?
If you do not want to cut the string cheese into pieces, you can melt it whole (with or without removing the wrapper).
- Place the string cheese on a microwave-friendly tray.
- Put the tray in the microwave for one minute.
- Take the tray out of the microwave and flip the cheese stick.
- Leave it again in the microwave for a few minutes until it softens on all sides.
Does String Cheese Melt on Pizza?
Suppose you want to enjoy homemade pizza but do not have mozzarella or pizza cheese. What to do in such a situation? Will string cheese melt on pizza?
While string cheese does not melt the same way as mozzarella, and you might not get the exact cheese pull, it’s a fine substitute. The mildly salty flavor of the string cheese on pizza tastes nice; it’s a good replacement for mozzarella.
- Cut the string cheese into thin strings or smaller pieces and spread it over your pizza evenly.
- Let it cook in the oven for 5 minutes at 140°F with the broiler on.
- Check after five minutes and leave it for a few more minutes if it’s not soft yet.
Does String Cheese Melt like Wrapped in Pizza Dough?
String cheese is not the best for a stuffed crust or pizza pockets, but you can use it if no other option is available.
Follow the same method and pull apart the cheese instead of stuffing large pieces of cheese into the dough. The thin slices will help the cheese melt better; otherwise, it stays firm.
Cook the pizza dough your preferred way, but the temperature must be above 90°F to melt the cheese.
What to Keep in Mind when Melting String Cheese?
Though now you know, “Does string cheese melt?” here are a few tips to help you get better results:
- Always slice the string cheese into thin pieces to help it melt better.
- Avoid microwaving plastic wrapping.
- Always use a microwave and oven-safe dish when melting mozzarella string cheese.
- Flip the cheese regularly to heat it on all sides when melting the whole cheese stick.
- Avoid using string cheese as a substitute for milk-based sauce, as it may form lumps.
- Always turn on the oven broiler when melting string cheese in the oven.
String Cheese Recipes
Did you know you can use string cheese like mozzarella cheese even if it does not melt the same way? Here are a few ideas for using string cheese to prepare delicious food:
- String Cheese Sticks: You can make string cheese sticks like mozzarella sticks with any recipe you like. Keep the string cheese in the freezer for some time to hold its shape better.
- String Cheese in a Blanket: Another fun recipe is to use string cheese and wrap it in thin ham or turkey slices for a cheesy delicacy. Bake them or toss them in the pan and heat it until the cheese melts.
- Wraps: Whether you want to enjoy a tortilla wrap or a rice paper roll, string cheese is perfect for the cheesy flavor.
- String Cheese Nachos: String cheese can be a quick fix for cheese on nachos if you do not have any other cheese option.
- Cheesy Kebabs: Add string cheese to your kebab mince for a delicious, mildly salty flavor that elevates the whole experience.
String Cheese Around the World
- USA: String cheese like Kraft string cheese is an on-the-go snack and lunchbox option in the US. They are typically made from mozzarella, and some varieties have cheddar cheese with mozzarella.
- Armenia: Armenian string cheese called chechill is made from sheep or goat milk and seasoned with mahleb and black cumin.
- Turkey: Turkey uses cow’s milk instead of goat’s milk to make string cheese.
- Mexico: Mexicans enjoy string cheese in balls of different sizes.
- Slovakia: Slovakian string cheese is made by hand-pulling cow or sheep milk cheese and is available in unsmoked and unsmoked flavors.
The Bottom Line
Cheese is a common ingredient in cooking globally, especially in Italy, France, Mexico, and the US. Besides mozzarella and cheddar, string cheese is a popular choice among adults and children in the USA. While string cheese is not intended for cooking, people often ask, “Does string cheese melt?” String cheese doesn’t melt but softens when heated at 90°F or 32°C. You can melt the cheese in the microwave or oven until it softens and enjoy it in your favorite dish.
Does string cheese need to be refrigerated?
String cheese has a higher shelf life because of its low water content compared to fresh cheeses. Individually-packed string cheese can stay out for long periods. However, keeping all forms of cheese in the refrigerator is better.
Is string cheese healthy?
String cheese is a nutrient-rich cheese containing calcium, proteins, and healthy fats. There are 85 calories in string cheese. The protein in string cheese amounts to 26 calories, whereas fats make up 52 calories of the total.
Why does string cheese taste better when pulled apart?
Pulling thin strands of the string cheese provides a larger surface area, creating a flavor explosion in your mouth. It also releases aromas that make it more flavorful when pulled apart.
Jeannie has achieved her Master’s degree in science and technology and is further pursuing a Ph.D. She desires to provide you the validated knowledge about science, technology, and the environment through writing articles.